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Maryland Department of the Environment

Capital Gazette: Maryland highway administration hopes to exchange education for credits toward stormwater permit in new pilot

The Maryland Department of Transportation maintains thousands of miles of roadway in the state — thousands of miles of land covered in pavement that rain water can’t filter through.

Instead it runs off the roads picking up pollutants along the way, gaining speed and heat in the summer and ultimately contributing to the impairment of creeks, streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

MDOT has an obligation to mitigate some of that damage, and last week announced a new pilot program that would give the department credit for reducing pollution through educational initiatives. Entities have long been encouraged to educate citizens about the bay, but if this new program is successful, they could also get credit toward obligations they have under stormwater permits for teaching others how to reduce pollution.

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